From humble beginnings to becoming one of the leading processors of value-added meat products, OSI Industries’ path to success is one that a company can borrow a leaf from. The company has an interesting history that spans several decades. The traces its roots to a German Immigrant known as Otto Kolchowsky, who established a local butcher shop in Chicago. How Otto transformed the little butcher shop into a giant processing company remains a mystery to many people, including his competitors.
Today, OSI Group appears in the list of the largest top hundred privately held companies in the U.S. In 2016, OSI reported annual revenues of more than $6 billion. OSI has built a reputation for staying ahead of the loop regarding food safety, sustainability and green practices. Sheldon Lavin, the CEO and his team are playing a critical role in feeding millions of people across the globe.
OSI Industries’ breakthrough
For close to five decades, Otto & Sons were supplying high-quality meat cuts to wholesalers and retailers in Chicago. But in 1955, the company landed a deal with McDonald’s where it was chosen to be the sole supplier of hamburger. To meet the increased demand, Otto & Sons Company built processing dedicated to serving the McDonalds in 1973.
The Sons of Otto, who were left to manage the family business, approached Sheldon Lavin to help them in securing financing for expanding their production. Sheldon did not only help Otto & Sons to obtain financing, but he also became a business partner.
With Sheldon Lavin aboard, the company started expanding overseas, a move that helped to put the company in the international arena. During this time, the company rebranded to OSI Industries and then to OSI Group after opening other facilities outside the U.S.
Penetrating the poultry products market
With the arrival of the new millennium, OSI became more aggressive in expanding their poultry operations across the globe. The company began by acquiring companies in France, Australia, and Asia. After seeing the huge potential in the poultry industry, the company intensified their operations in the U.S, India, and Canada. Recently, OSI Industries spent a fortune to expand their Spain-based poultry facility where they increased its capacity by a hundred percent.
Maintaining the lead
OSI Industries credits bulk of its success to its visionary leadership. OSI also has a wonderful team of employees who work in their 65 plants spread across 16 nations. The company boasts of state-of-the-art technology and equipment, which helps them in the production of top quality food products.